In 2019, we marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing. Twelve astronauts would go on to walk on the moon. However, they did not do it alone. According to Virginia’s own NASA Langley Research Center, more than 400,000 people were employed in some role at the peak of the Apollo program — with more than 20,000 companies involved. My point is that while history records the names of the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon, they were not alone. Likewise, the Bible teaches that even someone such as the Apostle Paul was not alone as a disciple.
Acts 9 records what became known as the Damascus Road experience of the disciple we know as the Apostle Paul. The part that I want to draw your attention to is what happened after the Damascus Road. The Lord calls a disciple named Ananias to minister to the future Apostle Paul. In the coming months, SBC of Virginia wants to call upon all of us to embrace the theme “Disciples Are Not Alone.”
Here are a few encouragements from Acts 9:10-19:
The Lord Jesus can use even the most unknown disciple to make a difference (verses 10-12). Ananias is only mentioned here and in Paul’s testimony later in Acts 22. He is simply referred to as a disciple. Charles Spurgeon said, “He who gets beyond a disciple rises beyond his proper place.”
Ananias was available to do God’s will, even if he wasn’t excited about it at first. Ananias had heard about Saul, and he had some reservations. Yet, Ananias obeyed God’s call and is used mightily. We may be nervous or even afraid to make disciples, teach a class, or work with two-year-old children at church. Scripture tells us that God empowers us and works through us to make disciples.
We must never underestimate the value of one person discipled for Christ. Peter ministered to thousands in Jerusalem. Philip saw a great harvest among the Samaritan people. Scripture only records Ananias ministering to one man — but what an impact.
I have heard famous preachers speak, yet, I still remember the couple teaching my third grade Sunday School class in that little room upstairs where I went to church in 1978. I have sat under scholarly professors at two seminaries, but I still remember my sixth grade Sunday School teachers challenging us to learn the books of the Bible so the class would get to go on a roller skating party (and I’m not even a fan of roller skating). Thank you to all of the Sunday School, Bible study, and small group leaders in our churches. Thank you for making disciples in so many ways and venues. Know that the Lord is working through you so disciples are not alone.